WHO WE ARE
"The impact PCU has had on my life has been significant...More than anything, the union believed in me when at the most difficult points. They have a clear vision and intention and I was supported and protected because of this. They were unconditionally supportive of me as a member...have clear values, to be committed, knowledgeable, and empathic with the confidence to let the work unfold. I cannot thank them enough." - PCU Member 2017
¹ PCU's statement on conversion therapy
For further information on this issue, see UKCP's statement and the Memorandum of Understanding.
The Psychotherapy and Counselling Union (PCU), founded in 2016, is committed to our mission of standing up for therapists and the future of therapy.
Bring together counsellors, psychotherapists and other practitioners from every corner of the field, including trainees on an equal basis
Campaign for true diversity and equal opportunities in the therapy world, and support individuals who are discriminated against.¹
Campaign to reform IAPT and other ‘therapy-lite’ substitutes, while at the same time supporting IAPT practitioners with their grievances.
Campaign against the use of therapy to get people off benefits and/or back to work.²
Change the system whereby starting practitioners have to work unpaid, often with very complex issues and without adequate support.
Campaign to defend and extend the provision of open-ended therapy which is free at the point of contact, and where the client can choose their practitioner and modality.
Support and defend practitioners in disciplinary hearings, and also against bullying and harassment.
Support and defend therapy against attacks from government and media, and against creeping medicalisation.
Establish a policy and research unit to develop solid positions on a wide range of issues.
² PCU's 2018 resolution: this union declares itself resolutely opposed to the government’s policy and programme of ‘Austerity.’
Most particularly, we oppose the programme ‘Workfare’ in which an attempt has been made to co-opt psychotherapy and counselling into the process of scapegoating the unemployed by claiming their unemployment is their own psychological problem, and sending people for therapy which they do not want under the threat of sanction if they do not comply. This ‘psycho-compulsion' is one of the many meaningless compulsions of the Workfare programme, all of which we regard as an attack on the poor and vulnerable in an attempt to scapegoat them for the problems created by the neoliberal economic model and its implementation by this government. It is moreover serving as a way of disciplining the whole workforce: Taking away the welfare safety net makes everyone in employment who does not have significant reserves to fall back on that much more vulnerable and anxious about opening their mouths, joining a trade union or in any other way attempting to assert their rights and protest about their conditions.
The general and trainee flyers, Navigating a Sea of Change Therapy Today article (Dec 2018), PCU Talking Points and Codes of Practice for Training and Employment can be shared to support therapists and trainees understand PCU's role in standing up for therapists and therapy. Physical copies of the flyer can be requested by emailing email@example.com
Please be aware that Students/Trainees memberships are now paid in one payment of £12.